What is it?
This is end-of-series, limited-run, valedictory version of the F80-generation BMW M3.
It’s a saloon, of course (I’m still not used to that), but, like last year’s M4 CS coupé, the M3 CS gets a dusting of the lightweight panels and aerodynamic features from the M4 GTS of 2016. There's a fairly low-impact suspension update too, as well as a new set of lightweight forged alloy wheels, 'cup' tyres and an extra helping of power and torque.
The CS isn’t cheap, weighing in at fully £23k more even than the M3 Competition Pack – within five grand, even, of the mighty 591bhp BMW M5. But BMW is clearly hoping that there will be enough lingering sentiment for the departing M3 to justify that kind of premium, and it has limited global volume to just 1200 units to try to reassure customers that it’s a savvy-enough buy.
All 1200 of those cars have already been built, by the way, so if you want to bid a particularly expensive, fond farewell to this particular M car, you should move fast. But if you’re not so bothered about how many doors you’re getting, the 4 Series and BMW M4 will remain in production for a while yet.